So the day finally came and we were able to officially celebrate our win as “Best of the Boro” for pet sitting and dog training! We arrived early to set up our table and ended up with some fantastic neighbors, Aigner Chocolates, who were nice enough to share some of their samples with us. Yum!
We met with pet owners, pet lovers, and others in our field. Not to mention Mr. Met! It was a night to also chat with one another. We work outside and independently, so chances to really talk with one another usually happens via text. Our trainer, Kate, lives just outside of Queens, so we rarely get to see one another in person. It was her first time meeting some of my staff as well; they were especially excited to meet her since she has helped them indirectly by training the dog’s that they walk.
It was an honor to be nominated and truly humbling to win. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote, not just once, but daily. My staff and I appreciate the recognition and strive to deliver the best service possible to all of our loyal clients.
After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
Our cat Jack has been dealing with some medical issues and it's reminded me that, as pet owners, we know our pets better than anyone else. Jack is 12 years old and is famous for his love of food, high play drive and ability to High 5 for a treat. Our rambunctious senior kitty does not act his age and is constantly keeping us on our toes.
Lately, however, we’ve been waking up to puke. Puking has never been an issue with Jack. This raised a bright red flag for me, so I made a vet appointment. Jack had no temperature, gave the entire staff a work out trying to keep him on the table, and left with a shot to treat the nausea. 3 days later, he’s puking again. Another trip to the vet resulted in a cracked nail bed and a tuft of fur ripped out during Jack’s vigorous attempts to escape. The vet did manage to take a blood sample despite Jack’s efforts.
Blood work showed a healthy cat. Jack continued to eat and beg for treats, drinking water, playing and generally acting normal. We had changed his food, just in case, and the puking came to a stop. Our vet suggested we give him some time and see if that solved the problem. We were game.
On Friday night we were introduced to THE Puke. This was seriously the most foul smelling, disgusting puke I’ve ever seen. It was open the windows and air out the house bad. So now our vet is on board that there’s something wrong and we’re scheduled for an ultrasound, additional blood work and a urinalysis.
While we wait for answers I pet Jack and wonder if he’s feeling okay. His coat is shiny, he’s eating well, and chasing after his treats when tossed around the house. So while he seems healthy, we know that something is wrong and will find out soon how to make him well again. I no longer feel foolish for rushing him to the vet for puking daily or when the test results came back negative. I know my cat better than anyone, even his vet, and when my gut tells me something is wrong, I trust it.
If you notice a change in your pet, let your vet know. Your pet won’t complain and often the symptoms won’t be obvious. Changes in eating habits and water intake to activity level and behavior changes can often be signs that something’s not right. Please check out this page: http://www.vetstreet.com to learn more about identifying the signs your cat is unwell.
With all those delicious smells coming from the kitchen on Thanksgiving, you can’t really blame your pet when they want to spend all of their time in there with you. Counter surfing, getting into the garbage, and well-meaning friends, can be the difference between a lovely dinner or inducing vomiting in your pet just before dessert.
So how do we avoid this? Make sure your pets are unable to get into the kitchen, either crate or restrict them to a certain room or floor of your home. Garbage should be made inaccessible and/or removed from the home in a timely manner. Talk to your guests and their children in advance to make sure they understand that table scraps are not allowed.
If you have family/friends coming who love animals, but maybe don’t know which foods are dangerous for your pet, take the time to explain to them the true dangers of sharing a goodie with your pet. Here’s a rundown of some of the most dangerous foods that make an appearance on Thanksgiving.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care, right away. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, less invasive it is to your pet, and the less expensive it is for you. Now, that’s something to be grateful for.
The past several months we’ve had to say a lot of good byes. Some were pets that have been in our care for years, others were more recent. The good byes were different with each pet; whether they had passed from old age/illness, or simply moved far away, I felt the loss of their presence. After 6 years I still cry on the last day of walks before a client moves or when I hear of a pet passing away. It makes me question whether I’m too attached, but then I receive an email from a new client. They have a puppy and want to build a relationship. Before I can finish grieving, the cycle begins again.
As a pet parent, this is something we go through several times throughout our lives. As Agnes Sligh Turnbull said, “Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” This can be applied to all pets. They rarely outlive us, which makes it our responsibility to make the time they have with us the best it can be.
So how do we do that? It means putting away your phone on walks, setting aside some time to play, and exposing your pet to as many different experiences as possible. Be present when spending time with your pet. Remember, they might be just a part of your life. But you’re their whole life.
In honor of September being Happy Cat Month, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite products for the felines in our life.
I've spent the last 12 years catering to my little furry man, so I've tried quite a few different products, from cat pans and litter to toys and health care.
Here are some of my (er, Jack's) favorites!
1) Best Cat Pan - Hagen CatIt Hooded Cat Pan
This is a large pan that's great for multi-cat households. The swinging door flips up for easy cleaning.
2) Best Litter Mat - iPrimio XL Cat Litter Trapper
Seriously, run don't walk. Buy this immediately. Traps more litter than any other mat I've tried and Jack loves walking on it (not the case with other mats we've tried in the past). The best part is that you can easily dump the loose litter back into the pan instead of losing it the vacuum.
3) Best Litter - Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Litter
I know some people stay away from clay based litters, but I've found them to be the best with odor absorbing. This litter is great because there is NO dust. It clumps great and absorbs all odors. Plus you can get a huge bag on amazon to save you some heavy lifting.
4) Best Scooper - DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop
Jack likes to create "mega pees" an enormous clump created from peeing in the same spot repeatedly. This means I need a scooper with a strong handle (I have broken quite a few scoops cleaning out his masterpieces). This one is sturdy and allows for easy cleaning, even along the sides and bottom of the pan.
5) Best Chew Toy - Petstages Dental Health Chew Toy
Jack is absolutely obsessed with these. It comes as a 2-pack, so it's great for multi-cat homes. Brushing your pets teeth can be a process, but these catnip filled toys gently remove the soft tarter before it can cause cavities.
6) Best Brush - FURminator Deshedding Tool
Whether you have a long or short haired cat, you know that shedding is a thing you will have to live with. We've all seen the little kitty tumble weeds of hair under furniture and in the corners. This brush removes all of the loose hair and leaves your cats fur shiny and your floors clean!
7) Best Stick Toy - Cat Dancer Wand
Sometimes the simplest toys are the best. Jack has broken every stick toy he's ever had, especially the ones with interchangeable attachments. The felt is easy to clean and despite rough play, is still intact after 2 years!
8) Best Scratching Post - Pet Fusion 3-sided Cat Scratcher
I love this because it doesn't look like a traditional scratching post. It sits in my living room to help keep Jack from destroying our leather couches. After sprinkling with some of the included cat nip, its Jack's new favorite place to scratch.
9) Best Treats - Smart N' Tasty Feline Dental Treats
I received these as part of a KitNip Box subscription. Jack loves all food, but I've never seen him get so excited for a greenie type product. I like that they are all natural and make his breath smell better.
10) Best Ear Care - Ear Cleaning Solution by Vetoquinol
Jack has always been good with his grooming habits, but his ears. Ug, always dirty! We had him tested multiple times for infections and ear mites, and were finally told that he just produces a lot a ear wax. This stuff removes all the residue and makes his ears smell nice.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.